On Day of Action for Puerto Rico, Rep. García Calls for More Urgent, Fair and Just Recovery for the Island

September 18, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) joined participants of Take Action for Puerto Rico! today at a press conference to highlight the urgency for a just recovery for Puerto Rico, on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria. More than 150 activists from the island and the diaspora, including over 45 Puerto Rican leaders from Chicago, are in Washington, D.C. today for a day of action that includes visits to Members of Congress and other decision makers. These are Congressman García’s remarks to the Puerto Rican activists today: 

“Two years ago today, the people of Puerto Rico were devastated by Hurricane Maria. Millions were left in the darkness, with no food, water or shelter.  Two full years later much of the island remains in disrepair. Some families are still without power, living under blue tarps instead of roofs.  People have fled and the economy continues to suffer.

“Every American should be outraged about the conditions our brothers and sisters on the island are living in.  No one should wait as long as the Puerto Rican people have to receive relief.

“While people in the island were suffering, President Trump threw paper towels around, denied the death toll, and cleared the aid to nine other states, but denied Puerto Rico anything. 

“Meanwhile, “La Junta’s” actions defy common economic sense. Years of economic depression cannot be solved through slashed wages and forced austerity.

“The fact is: the people of Puerto Rico are being squeezed from all sides.

“A 13-year economic depression cannot come to an end by forcing Puerto Ricans to endure more cuts and recover from historic devastation without federal aid, all while hedge funds, banks, and private contractors prey on the people of the island for every last penny they have.

“Puerto Rico deserves a fair and just recovery that prioritizes investments to help its people  recover, not obstruction of relief funding by President Trump. A full audit of the island’s debt must executed and the restrictions on social services like food stamps and medical care must be immediately lifted.

“Puerto Rico must have relief and it must be given a path to a fair and just recovery. Boricuas, like all Americans, are entitled to a commitment by our federal government to make them whole without further delay.”